Court life and diplomacy
The court ceremonial was used as a means to proclaim the host’s power.
Court residences, which dominated the surrounding countryside, were conceptualised as part of court ceremonial procedures. Reflecting the status of the investor who thus laid the foundations for the future ambitions of the dynasty, they were used to promote official concepts and iconography. Ceremonial processions or welcoming ceremonials were an important medium for self-representation by the ruler and were also seen as opportunities for forging diplomatic connections. It was not only court residences that were decorated with imperial iconography such as virtue and the senses, but also other attributes such as the emperor’s coach; travel being central to the diplomatic lifestyle.
Palazzo Chigi

1664–1672
Ariccia, Rome, Italy
Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680), with others (Luigi Bernini, Carlo Fontana, Mattia de' Rossi and Giovan Battista Contini)
The family palace symbolically dominated the ancient Via Appia linking Rome with Naples.